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Ask Toi
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
How to Make Corsages and Boutonnieres

Whether purchased from a local florist or reputable designer, corsages and boutonnieres can be very costly. If you're planning a wedding or special event that requires purchasing the aforementioned items; if you're looking to cut your costs, and you consider yourself "crafty," then you've come to the right place. Before you begin, choose your color scheme. Not all combinations of colors work well together; and it's important to pair color samples/swatches prior to purchasing materials. Next, decide whether you will use fresh or silk flowers. There are several advantages to using silk flowers, such as: they are much easier to work with, you can make your corsages and/or boutonnieres in advance, and if stored carefully they will always look new!

You should search online and visit craft stores to discover the vast variety of flowers available. Next choose the main flower and colors you'll use in your design. You could choose one flower/color combination or a variety of flowers and colors. When purchasing your flowers don't forget the following supplies:

Supplies:

  • Flowers -- For a boutonniere, choose 1 main flower (small -medium) that will be your focal point. For a corsage, choose 1 main flower (should be larger than the boutonniere) plus 2 or 4 other smaller complimentary flowers. Ex. Roses, calla lilies, dahlias, orchids, etc.
  • Small "filler" flower such as baby's breath, tiny forget me nots, hypericum berries, etc.
  • Greenery - you may be able to use any green leaves that come with your flowers. You can also buy greenery separately, in many different textures and shades. Ex. Eucalyptus, leather leaf, plumosus, lily grass, etc.  
  • Green floral wire
  • Green floral tape
  • Narrow (up to 3/8" wide) ribbon for bows on corsages - one to three colors
  • Corsage and Boutonniere pins - Pearl tip
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Sturdy wire cutters
  • Scissors

Making a Corsage:

1. Cut the stem on your largest flower to the desired length.

2. Holding the stem (just below base of flower) in one hand, add other flowers on each side.

3. Add your filler flower(s) and greenery, gathering all the stems together.

4. Hold firmly in place and wrap the stems (beginning at the top) with the floral wire and cut off the excess wire.

5. Wrap with floral tape and ribbon (optional).

6. Cut excess tape and ribbon and hot glue the end in back.

7. Attach ribbon tails or tie a bow at the top of the stem (or both) and secure with hot glue.

8. Attach to left lapel (approx. 4" from tip of shoulder) with a pearl tip corsage pin.

Making a Boutonniere:

1. Using wire cutters, cut the stem on your main flower to the desired length (about 4-5").

2. Hold the stem of flower in one hand (just below base of flower).

3. Add filler flower(s) on each/either side or behind main flower; keeping all stems at equal length.

4. While holding the main stem, just below the main flower, arrange greenery in the back of the boutonniere, continue holding all stems together.

5. Hold arrangement firmly in place and wrap the stems (beginning at the top) with an 8" piece of floral wire. The wire should firmly secure all stems together.

6. Starting at the top of the stem (over the wire), wrap floral tape, to the bottom of the stem.

7. Cut the floral tape and secure in back with hot glue.

8. Satin wrap stem with an understated ribbon in a color that compliments the tux and event theme (optional). Avoid using bows on boutonnieres.

9. Attach to left lapel (approx. 4" from tip of shoulder) with a pearl boutonniere pin.

Author: Toi Matthews


Posted by toimatthews at 1:33 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 24 February 2010 1:50 AM CST
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
How to Make a Bow
Topic: Simple Decor

Every gift or tree deserves a beautiful bow. These can seem quite tricky and complex, but with a little practice you can create a fabulous bow! Bows come in a variety of loop sizes. They may have as few as four to eight loops or as many as twenty to thirty loops. The loops are spread apart to make the shape oval or round and tails are generally hanging below. Follow the steps below to create the perfect bow!

Wire-edged ribbon works best.

1. Pinch the ribbon and make a loop leaving the tail the desired length.

2. While pinching the bow's center, turn the bow under the hand pinching the center and use your free hand to twist the ribbon and make a new loop. - - see video demo - -

3. Continue making loops until  the bow is full and you have enough ribbon left to make the other tail.

3.  After you have the desired number of loops (equal number of loops on both sides), secure the center of the bow - you may use wire, chenille sticks, ribbon, twist ties, etc. Don't try to do this with thick wire. You need thin wire like bow tying wire. Bow tying wire is 26 gauge.

4. Fan out the loops to create the desired shape.

5. Cut the tails at an angle or in points to finish off the bow.

Author: Toi Matthews


Posted by toimatthews at 9:27 PM CST

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